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Purchasing a used car can have its benefits – but only if you assume ownership of the right car.

A wrong move and you could be left with a faulty car and a substantial hole in your pocket. However, a clever investment will leave you glad that you didn’t have to splash out on the price of a brand new vehicle.

So how exactly would you go about buying a second hand car and what are the potential pitfalls? Here are some tips for those on the lookout for quality transportation that doesn’t cost the earth.

Get quotes

Before buying any vehicle, make sure to get quotes on insurance and car tax rates. Remember, the price of the vehicle is not the full price that you will eventually pay to get the motor on the road so always factor in the external costs and then weight it up against your budget and ask yourself whether you can afford it.

Are you really getting a good deal?

One of the best advantages of buying a second hand car is that the price should be significantly less than a new model. While advertised prices may seem fair enough, be sure to do your homework and research the cost of a new model and the average cost of similar used cars from established third part re-sellers.

Viewing the car

When you have the chance to view the car in the flesh, it’s vital you do so in bright light so you can fully inspect the condition of the vehicle and check for any marks, scratches or dints.

Service history

Before acquiring the vehicle, ask the existing owner for a detailed service history. This should inform you whether the car is particularly reliable or not. If there has been constant servicing and repairs made to the car then you might want to think twice about purchasing it as it may only lead you to further expense.

V5C Document

Always make sure to ask the owner of the vehicle for a V5C registration document. This will detail the registered keeper of the car so be cautious if it is clear that the person selling the transport is not the actual owner. It may also be an idea to contact previous owners (if there are any) and ask them about how the car runs. After all, they aren’t selling the car anymore so should offer an unbiased opinion.

Test drive

Never be afraid to ask the seller whether you can test drive the car. In fact, be worried if you’re not offered the opportunity to do so. A test drive is your chance to test out the key characteristics of the car – such as braking, windscreen wipers and lights – so be thorough!

An experienced and talented copywriter, Matthew Wood writes SEO savvy content for a collection of online publications and web projects.  Matthew’s latest work involves writing creative and engaging content on the subjects of Range Rover Parts and Land Rover Parts for the established online brand LR Parts.